Professional Aviator Portal

Center For Airmanship Excellence

Airline Pilot Career Enhancement Project Overview

Background:  The Center For Airmanship Excellence (CFAE) has identified a major impediment to the recruitment of new career-track aviators.  That impediment is the state of the careers currently being experienced by U.S. airline pilots (majors and regionals). Young potential professional aviators and their families are concerned about the career value proposition that is now the norm in the U.S. airline industry (i.e., the high and recently increased cost in time, effort and money to become fully qualified to compete for a career as an airline pilot versus the typical wages, working conditions, benefits, lifestyles and professional status now bestowed upon airline pilots by the airlines).  CFAE believes that the airline piloting profession can be once again very attractive to potential professional aviators and their families.

In preliminary studies conducted by CFAE on how U.S. airline pilot careers might be enhanced, CFAE has identified several possible improvements that it believes can be implemented.  However, at this point, these enhancements, and the strategies for securing them, are theoretical in nature. To verify its assumptions about the career enhancements current airline pilots desire and to test the theories for securing these desired enhanceents, CFAE has initiated the Airline Pilot Career Enhancement Project (APCEP). A new CFAE committee has been authorized to manage the APCEP:  the Airline Pilot Career Enhancement Committee (APCEC). 

Project Objectives:                                                     

  • Identify the enhancements current airline pilots would like to see made to the typical U.S. airline pilot’s career.
  • Identify strategies that will result in securing these desired enhancements.
  • Accurately communicate to potential professional aviators and their families the real current state of the airline-piloting profession.

Airline Pilot Career Survey:  If you are a current airline pilot, you can help CFAE to reach the above objectives by completing the 5-minute Airline Pilot Career Survey.

Airline Pilot Video Archive:  The archive contains selected videos that were produced in the mid-1980s for ALPA.  The executive producer of the videos is Capt. David C. Koch who at the time was a United Airlines first officer.  Capt. Koch is currently the Executive Director of the Center For Airmanship Excellence.  The videos show how the process Capt. Koch and his team developed created outstanding solidarity among various pilot groups during the difficult regulation-deregulation transition period in the airline industry.  To enter the archive, CLICK HERE.

If you’d like to find out more about the CFAE Airline Pilot Career Enhancement Project, send an email to